Local rescues 5 children from capsized boat

Accident happened on June 6 in Upper Keys

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A Key Largo man responded quickly to save the lives of 5 children who capsized their vessel in the Florida Bay on June 6.

At around noon, John Baxter and his wife were outside having lunch at their Key Largo bayside home when his wife suddenly asked, ‘Is that a boat upside down?’ It certainly was. About 100 yards offshore a small Boston Whaler had capsized. Baxter wasted no time and quickly boarded his pontoon boat and sped over.

The vessel, captained by a 16-year-old, overturned with four other children onboard. Some were young, about eight or nine years old by Baxter’s guess, but had life jackets on when he arrived at the scene. Baxter maneuvered his boat closer, lowered in the boat’s ladder, and the kids boarded to safety.

Construction workers nearby used line to help flip the boat over. The kids, who were visiting the Keys with family, thanked Baxter as he returned them to shore. The Coast Guard arrived just after the incident. From sighting to rescue, the entire ordeal lasted 15 minutes.

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